Arthur Miller, an American writer during the 1950’s, compose one of his well known publish plays, The Crucible, as an allegory for the clear purpose of criticizing America’s society with the McCarthy anti-communist trials revolving during the era. The Crucible consisted of the background of 1600’s Salem witch trials but what Miller wanted to capture was the idea of the trials in American society being unjustifiable and destroyed lives of innocents in many occurrences. Within the composer of Arthur Miller’s, "Are You Now Or Were You Ever?,” the purpose is to justify his reason for shaming American society for the anti-communist trials by arguing that the blame was paranoia driving an individual to hysteria, often leading to bringing out the worse from within. Miller demonstrates a series of rhetorical strategies throughout the article in order to help convince an audience of his argument of paranoia leads up to distrust and chaos around a community. Miller begins the article with a series of specific verbs in order to layout a logical and convincing reasoning of why he was driven to expose the idea of paranoia being the one to commence the misshapen in society with all the trails.
Lead by Senator Joe McCarthy, this modern witch hunt for communism ruined lives and spread lies, with the initial victims being the disliked, the outsiders. One of the first of those blacklisted was Owen Lattimore. He was outspoken about his unpopular liberal views and so it was easy for McCarthy to shift blame and suspicion towards him (Victims of McCarthyism). McCarthy played off the existing fear of communism left behind by World War II to gain support for his lagging political career by fighting a problem that did not really exist. As in The Crucible, people easily accepted that Lattimore and others like him were to blame, in this case for being communist.
The threat of Communism and the Red Scare put fear of group mentality into many people during the late 1940-50s. The authors of 1984 and The Crucible used their respective works to comment on the social injustice going on in their own lives, which connects to injustice the exists throughout time anywhere in the world. Miller wrote his play, set in 1692, about Puritans and the Salem witch trials because he believed that, similar to his trial for HUAC in the 1950s, the trials in Salem were caused by false accusations and mass hysteria led by powerful individuals. In 1984, Orwell creates a world in the near future that shows group mentality and its threat to conform society with the government. In The Crucible, Arthur Miller illustrates a world
The crucible is defined as a severe trial of test, which not only happened in Arthur Miller's play, The Crucible, but also in Miller's life. Arthur Miller wanted The Crucible to symbolize McCarthyism. Throughout the 1940s and 1950s McCarthyism was prominent in America and is known as the paranoid hunt for infiltrators who were communist sympathizers. Writers and entertainers were mainly targeted because they have a lot of influence in society and were used an example. Targeting writers and entertainers showed the people that the government wouldn't sympathize with anyone who supported communism and shook fear into the town.
Pandemonium can dictate a country’s or settlement’s future when not taken under control. The Crucible, written by Arthur Miller, perfectly illustrates the downsides of pandemonium, but also a real life event. In 1950s America, the Communist Party was sparking outrage and chaos that soon the United States would face a fascist government. Both situations lead to tension in society and people turning their backs against each other. In “Are You Now or Were You Ever?”, also written by Arthur Miller, the online article discusses the reasons to why Miller wrote the book such as the similarities to the Communist Party in America to the Salem Witch Trials, play scripts, actors, and the paranoia in society.
In order to better understand the correlation between The Crucible and to Joseph McCarthy’s claims, we must better understand the accusations of McCarthy. Joseph McCarthy took on an aggressive campaign towards communism, he made several accusations that government workers were secretly communist. Although he never proved these accusations he provoked hysteria and paranoia which led to negative impact on politics and diplomacy. Soon after, McCarthyism became a term to describe accusing without evidence. “In a narrow sense McCarthyism is the name given to the attitudes and practices of Senator Joseph McCarthy (1908-57) and his followers engrossed in investigating and purging purported security risks, especially those supposedly with ties present or former, actual or imagined, to Communist groups and governments during the late 1940s and early
Throughout the 1950’s, there was a threat of Communism taking over America called the Red Scare. Arthur Miller concluded to write an allegory for the Red Scare and make it into a play. The play exemplifies bits and pieces of the Red Scare. During this period of time, people were being accused of being communist. Everyone was blamed and no one was safe.
Also, one of the prominent men accused and executed in the Crucible, John Proctor, was also a real person, based on Arthur Miller himself. During the Red Scare, Miller was blacklisted and questioned in court about being a Communist. In opposition, he posed the argument that the trials threatened freedom of expression. In the Crucible, Proctor argued the legitimacy and the corruption of the trials in court, and he was also accused of witchcraft. Lastly, the court cases for the accused in the Red Scare and the Salem Witch Trials were very alike.
He was pressed on his connections with Communist activities. The Committee tried to paint Seeger and the communist party as dangerous to the American way. His extreme ideology made him a good target for the House Un-American Activities Committee to make an example of. Seeger was blacklisted and could not get work for years. One thing that was a constant over the years was that Seeger was playing “This Land is your Land” throughout this time.
“If your name was placed on one of these blacklists, you could lose your job and your life and reputation could be ruined.” This quote shows how those accused of communism had their lives taken and ruined. In both the times of The Witch Trials and of McCarthyism, people could be falsely accused. There is a very obvious example in The Crucible when after confessing John Proctor says to Danforth, "Why must it be written? Why must I say it?" (The Crucible).